Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

He's Never Too Busy to Lend Hand; Wolfson Senior Does Variety of Community Service

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

He's Never Too Busy to Lend Hand; Wolfson Senior Does Variety of Community Service

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY

Jacksonville's Francisco Garcia Jr. is only 17 and already has a resume of academic and athletic achievements that makes you wonder where he finds the time and energy.

The Mandarin resident, who is scheduled to graduate May 25 from Wolfson High School, is a member of the National Honor Society; was a three-time all-conference selection in cross country; conference champion in that sport the past two years; and was named the Times-Union's Runner of the Year in Duval County in 2006.

Yet Garcia also finds time to perform a variety of community service work - a fact that has now earned him an American Youth Character Award from Character Counts! in Jacksonville.

Garcia is one of 19 students who will receive awards from the organization during a ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday at the University of North Florida.

Character Counts! encourages ethical behavior through the promotion of the values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, said Gail Keith, executive director of the non-profit group.

Garcia will receive the Bernard Wilkes Sportsmanship Award, named in honor of the late Ribault High School basketball coach and given to students who excel in both academics and athletics.

"Francisco could have won on academics alone, but his generosity of spirit and his athletic ability are what caught our attention," Keith said.

Darian Oliver, a Jacksonville police officer and coach of the Police Athletic League's track and field team, said he was impressed with Garcia from the moment the boy started in PAL sports two years ago.

"You can't find a better kid," said Oliver, who nominated Garcia for the award. "He's willing to load luggage, break down equipment, comes in and helps out by tutoring kids in our after-school program and takes care of his work in track and field."

Garcia said he also tutored younger students at Wolfson and volunteered at area races on weekends to hand out water to runners. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.